Mabul Island with LOVE

It is not easy carrying boxes while traveling, but after my trip to Cambodia carrying backpack with 20kgs of stationery to be donated to an orphanage in Siem Reap, I did it for the second time and this time carrying 40kgs of new and used clothes for the children of sea gypsies in Mabul Island, Semporna.

Trust me, you can travel and feel good at the same time.

Just before Kaamatan Festival, I booked a ticket on Airasia to Tawau (from Kota Kinabalu), and booked Scuba Jeff (budget accommodation in Mabul Island) for three pax. My BFFs, Clarina and Waily decided to join me because they never been there, while this is my second time.

My previous trip to Mabul was with another friend, Rost, and I admit the 3D2N trip was an eye opener for me to see the beautiful island as a must visit destination especially for budget traveler who are interested to be at one of the best places for underwater macro-photography in the world.

Why I love staying at Scuba Jeff? Although it was only a simple place to stay, it was a great place to meet other travelers and generally get information about the island. The owner was a nice guy, but unfortunately he was not there that time because he was busy with his latest underwater photography job. The place was clean and staffs are very helpful. At the second night we had a sort of party (singing and play guitar with the other travelers) on the sundeck with rhum (Clarina and Waily had fun with the drink. I am happy with my 100 plus. LOL) and snacks. It was a great idea and I really love the concept.
If you are not into deep water diving, Mabul Island is also a perfect for snorkelling, discovery scuba diving (course allows first timers to learn how to use scuba equipment in shallow water at a minimal fees) or just sitting back to enjoy the sunset at the seaside. Simply ask Scuba Jeff how to do it, he will assist you. As simple as that!

Ok, let me start all over again from my first day from Kota Kinabalu. I flew to Tawau on 14th June (50 minutes flight) alone early morning, check in at LA Hotel and stayed there for a night. Clarina and Waily arrived in the afternoon, my BFF Abby (she is living in Tawau) drove us to Hotspring for a seafood session at Daily Q Steamboat. Super yummy! Super cheap, only RM25 per head.
Second day (15th June), we rushed to Tawau bus terminal for an hour ride to Semporna (location of jetty to Mabul Island), but unfortunately we were late for the big bus and forced to sit in a packed minivan. The driver enjoyed his Dangdut songs, played it over and over again. Thank God, it wasn't that long journey. We arrived at the jetty, while the other group from Kuala Lumpur were waiting. 

 To be honest, I had a very bad feeling looking at the dark clouds, and yes, we had rough seas. That was unforgettable experience in my life, we supposed to arrived the island by 45 minutes boat ride but with the wave higher then our boat roof, we arrived after more than one hour. Scary. I almost cried (LOL. I am not into deep water). Don't ask me for pictures, I don't even dare to move my butt. Our bags were wrapped by plastic bags, never think of taking out my camera. LOL.

Upon arrival at lunch time, we were seated and served with rice, chicken, eggs, sauteed pumpkin, fish and drinking water. Very simple lunch but I am glad for being able to touch the food... and I am already thinking how to go back to the mainland with that kind of sea. It was scary, man! (The boatman smiled at me, thinking it was funny. The sea is their playground, nothing to worry actually. I just over react).

After lunch, three of us took a nap and about 4pm we headed to the beach, took some pictures and continue our walk at the village of sea gypsies. Looking at some of children who are running around the island barefooted and naked, I remember my main purpose coming there, to bring smiles to the children by giving clothes which my fiance and I bought, and most of it were donated by generous donors. Donation will be done on the next day.
After about two hours walk, we went back to our nest (We really enjoy the VIP room). We enjoyed the sunset from scuba Jeff's sundeck and I watched my BFFs swimming infront of the sundeck.

At the third day, we woke up quite late, sunbathing at the sundeck, enjoying junkfood and ABC we bought at the local vendors. Very relaxing moment! We supposed to go for snorkelling (it was included in the package) but we decided to stay away from the sea, enjoying the windy afternoon.

About 5pm, three of us headed to the sea gypsies settlement to give away all the clothes. I am giving extra credits to Scuba Jeff's staffs, the boys help me to carry the boxes while two ladies assist me with the distribution. I thought it was easy because the children were lining up at first, but not even five minutes it turned into a chaos when everyone started to reach the clothes inside the boxes. Oh, gosh! Everything finished in 15 minutes, many of them still didn't get it especially the babies. Too many babies.

I am lucky for having about 10 pairs extra t-shirts and pants, we called the sea gypsies who are staying in houseboat (most of them made temporary houses in the island because of the rough sea), two person came, we give five pairs each.

All three boxes and a bag of clothes were gone to the new owners... I can't stop smiling after that.
It always feels good when you do something for someone else. If I have the chance, I would do it again. I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.

Thank you to all the supporters who donated used clothes for my mission to bring smiles to the children of sea gypsies in Mabul Island, Semporna.

Thank you very much to my blogger friends Dekdaa and Atun, my dear friend Nor Ivana, Twitter follower Suriyani Tangari, my fiance Carl and my favourite cosmetic brand The Body Shop Sabah, if it wasn't for your support.

Thank you to all Scuba Jeff staffs who helped me unload and distribute the clothes to the children.

I wouldn't have been able to do it without each of you. Thank you. Big kisses!

On the final fourth day, I woke up early, packed my stuffs and told the boatman that I am scared to be on the boat. He said the weather is fine, no need to worry. And it was true, although the waters are not that calm but it was not rough. Very fun and enjoyable.

We arrived at Semporna jetty in the afternoon. We went for lunch before taking a bus ride to Tawau. Arrived Tawau, my friend Abby once again treated us with Tawau famous delicacies Mango Sago and Sanggar Cheese at Indo Cafe, Tawau before sending us to airport.

It was fun trip and I'm so glad our friendship has grown along with us. I am happy something like this can bring smiles to others!

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Calista Leah Liew said...

Sounds like a lot of fun, and an honourable trip! Kudos to you and all involved! =)

LM the Traveler said...

it was fun indeed. Looking fwd to visit other islands in the State. Rugi la, belum habis pusing Sabah!

Anonymous said...

wish i can join u on such trips. charity on the go !

LM the Traveler said...

will be doing another charity drive to paitan (about 4-5 hrs drive from kota kinabalu) before the year end. will be doing some studies on the place within july-august.

Rebecca said...

It is a good thing, what you were doing. So happy that somebody actually care for the children. Many thanks and God bless you tonnes. ♥ Hoping that many good things in life come to you. :)

LM the Traveler said...

insyAllah... im doing a small part in the community. hopefully many will do the same in the future.

MY said...

oh my... this is so inspiring.. I never thought of doing that.. was googling for mabul island package and am glad that I stumbled into your blog. Will definitely keep this in mind.


LM the Traveler said...

thank you for reading this entry. please bring something for the children of mabul ya.

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